New York, NY - Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station (NYP)
Welcoming passengers taking more than 650,000 daily commuter, transit and intercity trips on Amtrak, NJ TRANSIT, Long Island Rail Road and the subway, the Moynihan Train Hall / New York Penn Station complex is the busiest rail hub in North America and a gateway to the nation's largest city.
Moynihan Train Hall at Penn Station
351 West 31st Street
New York, NY 10001
Annual Station Ridership (FY 2022): 8,008,700
- Facility Ownership: Moynihan Train Hall – Empire State Development Corporation / New York Penn Station – Amtrak
- Parking Lot Ownership: Moynihan Train Hall and New York Penn Station – N/A
- Platform Ownership: Moynihan Train Hall and New York Penn Station – Amtrak
- Track Ownership: Moynihan Train Hall and New York Penn Station – Amtrak
Amtrak, in partnership with Empire State Development (State of New York), expanded its footprint in New York City with the opening of the Moynihan Train Hall on January 1, 2021. The Moynihan Train Hall is located inside the historic James A. Farley Post Office building, which occupies two full city blocks between W. 31st and W. 33rd Streets and 8th and 9th Avenues in the Midtown West area of Manhattan. Directly across 8th Ave. to the east is New York Penn Station, while the Hudson Yards complex is about one block west.
Amtrak customers at New York may board the high-speed Acela or Northeast Regional trains to travel toward Washington, D.C., or Boston, or board numerous short- or long-distance trains whose destinations include Buffalo, Chicago, Miami and New Orleans.
Moynihan Train Hall and New York Penn Station operate as one complex with Amtrak’s full-service offerings available in Moynihan Train Hall between 5 a.m. and 1 a.m. (the Train Hall is closed from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.). Penn Station remains accessible 24 hours a day as a self-service station, with minimal staff support and limited concourse operations overnight when the Train Hall is closed. Tracks 5-16 can be accessed from the Train Hall main concourse, and Tracks 1-4 are available at Penn Station.
Moynihan Train Hall houses the main Amtrak and Long Island Rail Road (LIRR) boarding concourse, while Penn Station houses the NJ TRANSIT concourse. The Moynihan Train Hall / New York Penn Station complex is readily accessible from more than a dozen lines of the New York City subway (MTA). The Port Authority Trans-Hudson (PATH) rapid transit system has a station nearby at 33rd St. and 6th Ave.
Combined with recent improvements to New York Penn Station, the Moynihan Train Hall helps relieve crowding, improve passenger comfort and security, and offers an enhanced facility that better serves Amtrak and commuter rail passengers. Customers have two paths available between the Train Hall and Penn Station. They can exit Penn Station onto 8th Ave., cross 8th Ave. and enter the Train Hall at any entryway; or, they can walk between the Train Hall and Penn Station on the LIRR concourse level through the Moynihan Lower Concourse. Amtrak’s main entrance to the Moynihan Train Hall is located mid-block on W. 31st St.
Customers find the boarding concourse at the heart of the Moynihan Train Hall, located in what was formerly the Farley building’s mail sorting facility. This spacious open area, approximately the size of Grand Central Terminal’s Main Hall, is paved in Tennessee Quaker marble with escalators leading to the platforms below. Arched steel trusses spanning the room support a four-section vaulted skylight that rises 92 feet above the floor and allows natural light to flood the space throughout the day. From the center of the ceiling hangs a stepped, Art Deco-inspired four-sided clock.
Arrayed around the perimeter of the concourse are the combined Amtrak ticketing and baggage area, reserved customer waiting room – accented with walnut trim that provides a sense of warmth, and a dedicated lactation lounge for nursing mothers. An Amtrak Metropolitan Lounge, a premium lounge space, provides travelers with a high-quality experience, including priority boarding, expanded food and beverage offerings, a family waiting area, dedicated customer service agents, private restrooms and complimentary Wi-Fi. The Moynihan Train Hall also incorporates accessible features that cater to the needs of all Amtrak customers, state-of-the-art wayfinding through dozens of LED and LCD displays, and Red Cap service.
Additional partners Amtrak worked with on the Moynihan Train Hall include New York Governor Andrew Cuomo and U.S. Senator Chuck Schumer, the New York Congressional delegation, LIRR, Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA), Port Authority of New York and New Jersey (PANYNJ), the Related Companies and Vornado Realty Trust. Of the $1.6 billion invested in the 255,000 square foot Moynihan Train Hall, developers Related Companies and Vornado contributed $630 million to the project in exchange for a 99-year lease on much of the century-old Farley building, and the remaining $970 million came from public sources.
Envisioned for nearly three decades and championed by U.S. Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan of New York, for whom the facility is named, Moynihan Train Hall was designed by architectural firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, with interior spaces by Rockwell Group, FX Collaborative and Elkus Manfredi. Overall, the Farley building includes an additional 700,000 square feet of commercial, retail and dining space. As part of the general rehabilitation of the building, which began in 2017, the stone facade, 700 windows, the copper roof and decorative terracotta elements were restored.
Public areas feature large-scale art installations commissioned by Empire State Development in partnership with the non-profit Public Art Fund. Two pieces are located at entrances, drawing people inside. “Go,” a backlit, hand-painted stained glass skylight by Kehinde Wiley, is found at the W. 33rd St. entrance. It showcases break dancers floating against a blue sky edged by voluminous white clouds. At the W. 31st St. entrance, “The Hive” by Elmgreen & Dragset displays a collection of nearly 100 lighted skyscraper models – actual buildings from around the world mixed with the artists’ creations – that descend from the ceiling.
In the reserved customer waiting room, murals incorporating photography and computer-generated imagery by Stan Douglas, collectively known as “Penn Station’s Half Century,” depict modern reenactments of events that took place in the old Pennsylvania Station that was demolished in the mid-20th century. In one panel, people greet Angelo Herndon, a labor organizer from the South who came to New York in 1934 following his release from a Georgia prison.
The year it opened to travelers, Moynihan Train Hall earned a Prix Versailles. A program of UNESCO (United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization), the Prix Versailles spotlights contemporary architecture and design projects around the world in categories including airports, passenger stations and campuses. Winners are chosen by a jury of international design professionals who consider a project’s ecological, social and cultural impacts. Moynihan Train Hall won the top honors over five other passenger station projects that had been selected from a larger list of entries.
In November 2023, Amtrak and Vornado marked the transformation of New York Penn Station’s busiest entrance at 7th Ave. and W. 32nd St. The enlarged and fully rebuilt entrance provides natural light and air down into the concourse and features a fully accessible and safer experience. The renovated entrance has an accessible elevator, three transit-grade escalators and stairs. Working with the New York City Department of Transportation, Vornado has widened sidewalks along the west side of 7th Ave. between W. 31st and 33rd Sts. to relieve crowding and improve safety and navigation. Above the entrance, the 1967-era concrete overhang was replaced with an airy glass canopy designed by Foster + Partners; along with an interior lighting feature, it creates a more inviting, open and brighter environment linking the below-ground station to the street.
The 7th Ave. and W. 32nd Street entrance project resulted from a public-private partnership, with Vornado leading the overall design and constructing street-level improvements and the canopy above, while Amtrak constructed the improvements from the street to its concourse including the new elevator. The transformation was enabled by Vornado’s redevelopment of its PENN 2 office tower and the adjacent public spaces between W. 31st and 33rd Sts. along 7th Ave.
The original Pennsylvania Station, which took the name of its owner and builder, the Pennsylvania Railroad (PRR), was opened to the public in the fall of 1910. Considered a masterpiece of neoclassical architecture, the station consisted of an above-ground structure that contained the general waiting rooms, and a complex 50 feet below street level that accommodated 11 platforms. Four platforms continued west where they were accessed by workers at the new main post office – now the Farley building containing the Moynihan Train Hall. When the postal facility opened in 1912, it received about 40 percent of the city’s mail over the PRR lines. Mail sacks were transferred to and from the rail cars through a system of conveyor belts, chutes and slides.
By the mid-20th century, American railroads experienced a decline in passenger traffic as the attraction of modern jet airplane travel and the new Interstate Highway System set the stage for a shift that led passengers away from rail and to these competing travel modes – whose planning and construction were heavily subsidized by the federal government.
Consequently, the vast Pennsylvania Station became a financial burden for the PRR, and in the late 1950s the company optioned the air rights over the facility. From 1963 to 1966, the station building was demolished to make way for the current Madison Square Garden sports and entertainment arena, as well as the 2 Penn Plaza office building. While the new buildings rose above the underground concourses, the trains continued to run, and the present passenger areas were largely completed by spring 1968. In 1984, Amtrak and LIRR undertook a modernization of Penn Station that emphasized improved access for persons with disabilities.
Today, the platforms are shared among Amtrak, LIRR and NJ TRANSIT. In fall 2020, Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT completed the Ticketed Waiting Area refresh at the Amtrak concourse on the upper level and 8th Ave. side of Penn Station. The project, which included a $7.2 million total joint investment between Amtrak and NJ TRANSIT, features new furniture and fixtures, including seats with electrical and USB outlets to charge devices, an upgraded ceiling complete with new LED lighting, a new information desk and a second entrance in close proximity to the NJ TRANSIT concourse, offering easy access toward the 7th Ave. side of the station, Passenger Information Display System (PIDS) boards that display NJ TRANSIT departure information, and a lactation suite for nursing mothers.
When the above ground portion of Penn Station was destroyed, the city lost one of its great gateways. Subsequently, rail travelers arrived in the city via a warren of underground tunnels that gave out to the street, a seemingly unfitting introduction to a metropolis that dominates the nation’s economic and cultural life. To remedy this perceived deficiency, in the 1990s, Amtrak and Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan proposed using the old post office building—renamed the James A. Farley building in 1982—as the grand ceremonial entrance to the station.
The U.S. Postal Service no longer needed all the space and was considering relocation. Designed in concert with Penn Station by the same architectural firm, the celebrated McKim, Mead and White, the Farley building’s 8th Ave. entrance is marked by a block-long colonnade of Corinthian columns accessed by a ceremonial set of stairs. Inside, the lobby is lighted by soaring windows that show off the intricate, geometric coffered ceiling. After the senator died in 2003, the concept of transforming the Farley building into a transportation facility took the name “Moynihan Station.” Viewing the new rail facility as a plausible catalyst for the redevelopment of the surrounding neighborhoods, the city then rezoned the adjacent blocks to allow for denser commercial development.
Plans for Moynihan Station shifted many times over more than two decades, but the key transportation elements remained in place. Travelers would enter the building to access a glass-enclosed train hall in the original atrium. Much as in the original Penn Station, light would filter down to track level. The non-transportation elements of Moynihan Station, coordinated by private developers, were subject to greater change. Ideas included building a new Madison Square Garden inside the structure’s western half and placing a boutique hotel and retail shops on the building’s upper levels. Developers also proposed transforming the area with a series of new skyscrapers to take advantage of excellent transportation connections.
In 2007, Empire State Development (ESD), the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and the private development team of Vornado Realty Trust and Related Companies purchased the Farley building from the Postal Service for $230 million.
Amtrak, in partnership with the ESD and its subsidiary Moynihan Station Development Corporation, worked to create the Moynihan Train Hall, which was constructed in two phases. Phase I, which ceremonially broke ground in October 2010 and was completed in summer 2017, included expansion and enhancement of a W. 33rd St. Connector between Penn Station and the Moynihan Lower Concourse; the extension and widening of the concourse to serve nine of Penn Station’s 11 platforms; new access points and passenger circulation space; and entrances into the new concourse at the W. 31st and W. 33rd St. corners of the Farley building. Phase II, under construction from summer 2017 until late 2020, created the Moynihan Train Hall.
The approximately $300 million Phase I plan was funded in part through $110 million in federal earmarks; $35 million from the MTA; $14 million from the state; and $10 million from the Port Authority. In addition, Moynihan Train Hall received an $83 million Transportation Investment Generating Economic Recovery (TIGER) grant made possible by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act (ARRA) of 2009.
In early 2011, Amtrak also unveiled the Gateway Program, a comprehensive suite of strategic rail infrastructure improvements in the New York City area. It will increase track, tunnel, bridge and station capacity, eventually creating four mainline tracks between Newark, N.J., and New York Penn Station, including a new, two-track Hudson River Tunnel. As envisioned, the Gateway Program will provide increased resiliency on the Northeast Corridor, added reliability and additional capacity for future increases in commuter and intercity rail service.
Prior to 1910 and the opening of Pennsylvania Station, trips to New York from the west and the south ended at Jersey City, N.J., on the west side of the Hudson River. The broad Hudson was a formidable obstacle for bridge and tunnel builders, and schemes advanced in the late 19th century would have required vast sums of money to complete even if feasible. Financial panics in the early 1870s and 1890s also precluded any major investments. Railroads instead settled upon ferry service across the watercourse to reach the island of Manhattan.
In 1871, the PRR leased the New Jersey Railroad for its ferry franchise and water rights on the river. Over the next century, the PRR’s Jersey City station and ferry facility was rebuilt numerous times due to fires. A seven-story terminal, considered the largest in the nation, was completed in 1892 and featured a dramatic single-span roof with a width of 250 feet. After detraining, passengers walked a short distance to the ferry terminal to board one of the double-decker vessels headed for Manhattan, Brooklyn or Staten Island. The busy area around the PRR facilities at Montgomery and Hudson Sts. was popularly known as Exchange Place.
At the end of the 19th century, only two railroads had a terminal in Manhattan: the New York Central (NYC) and the New York, New Haven and Hartford (NYNH&H). Both crossed into Manhattan from the Bronx over the Harlem River. In 1871, the NYC, under the control of Cornelius Vanderbilt, completed the first Grand Central Depot (also used by the NYNH&H) in what is now Midtown East. Alexander Cassatt, a railroad engineer who came out of retirement in 1899 to head the PRR, believed that his railroad also had to obtain a station in New York City, which had become the country’s largest metropolitan area, dominant port and business center. Under his leadership, the railroad weighed its options for crossing the Hudson, eventually settling on a pair of tunnels to run between Weehawken, N.J., and the western Midtown neighborhood of Hell’s Kitchen, known for its brothels and flop houses.
In order to obtain a charter for a bridge, the railroad would have had to share its facilities with other carriers, and so tunnels, although expensive, became a more attractive option. Pennsylvania Station was really just one piece of a larger $114 million (approximately $2.5 billion in today’s money) puzzle that included a new right-of-way from Newark to Manhattan; bridges; tunnels underneath the Hudson and East Rivers and Manhattan; and a new rail yard in Queens. By this point, the city had banned steam locomotives within the urban core. Therefore, the network—including the tunnels—had to be run by the relatively new technology of electric catenaries.
To comply with this mandate, a station known as Manhattan Transfer would be constructed at Harrison, N.J., just east of Newark. Here, trains on the main line stopped to switch to electric locomotives to continue into Manhattan. Those headed for Jersey City and the ferry terminal continued to their destination under steam power. Manhattan Transfer remained in operation until the 1930s when the PRR completed the electrification of its main line. From the station, PRR trains traveled five miles across the Meadowlands to the Bergen Hill portal where they began their descent into the tunnels beneath the Hudson.
After two years of design work, construction began in 1904 on the pair of single bore tunnels, located 70 feet below the surface of the river. Company engineers used the “shield method,” in which an iron tube was driven forward while compressed air kept out the water. The cast iron tunnel lining is composed of numerous rings, each one being put into place and secured to its predecessor as rock, sand and mud was drilled, blasted and excavated.
When the lining was finally completed, workers then coated the interior with a two-foot thick layer of concrete to waterproof and strengthen the structure. The two ends of the northern tube met in 1906. The four single-track tunnels under the East River led to a new rail yard at Sunnyside, Queens, that was used by the PRR and LIRR for the storage and cleaning of trains serving Manhattan. Completed in 1910, Sunnyside sprawled over 192 acres and could accommodate more than 1,000 cars. A loop allowed trains to turn around without the need for a turntable.
Concurrent with the tunnel work, excavation began at the site of Pennsylvania Station. More than 500 houses and other structures had to be removed from the designated blocks, as the above-ground building occupied eight acres while the subterranean concourses and yards stretched across 28 acres. Between 1904 and 1906, the complex rose to an average of 69 feet above street level, or about six stories.
Pennsylvania Station sprang from the creative genius of Charles Follen McKim, one of the principals in the New York-based firm of McKim, Mead and White. The architect and his partners led what was then, and is still now, considered one of the greatest American architectural and design firms. McKim, Mead and White were leading figures of the City Beautiful movement that took hold as the 19th century gave way to the 20th. Led by design professionals and progressives, the movement promoted the improvement of cities through rational order, sanitation and aesthetic enhancement.
This last concept often meant looking back to Roman and Greek precedents that were deemed suitable for a young republic with great ambitions. Many leading City Beautiful proponents attended the École des Beaux-Arts in Paris, a design school where the instructors emphasized the need for a logical floor plan coupled with an appropriately dignified architecture embellished through allied arts such as sculpture and painting. Appropriately, McKim, Mead and White based the design of the station on the Baths of Caracalla and the Basilica of Maxentius and Constantine in Rome. Using barrel vaults, both structures had managed to enclose large indoor spaces that accommodated thousands of users.
Upon its completion in summer 1910, Pennsylvania Station was described in glowing superlatives, touted as the biggest, grandest and most modern train station in the nation, and one of the finest in the world. Although giving the impression of solid stone construction, the structure was erected with a steel frame clad in Milford pink granite. Roughly 550,000 cubic feet of stone, 27,000 tons of steel and 15 million bricks were used during construction.
On the principal 7th Ave. facade, the architects centered the pedestrian entryway on W. 32nd St. to create a grand vista for travelers approaching from the east. A portico marked by six Doric columns supported a seven-foot diameter clock. It was surrounded by sculptural decoration executed in Tennessee marble by German-born artist Adolph Alexander Weinman. The clocks, which dominated the four porticoed entrances on each side of the building, were adorned with wreaths of leaves upon which leaned two allegorical female figures representing time. Draped in flowing robes, “Day” held a sunflower while “Night” clutched a pair of drooping poppies. Flanking the clocks were trios of eagles, their outstretched wings ready for flight.
Other than Weinman’s pieces, sculptural detail was kept to a minimum, therefore allowing the regular rhythm of the 7th and 8th Ave. colonnades and the pilasters on W. 31st and W. 33rd Sts. to dominate the structure and emphasize its sheer size. Those arriving by automobile or carriage headed to the corner pavilions on 7th Ave. Passing through the colonnade, the roadway descended to a subterranean level where entrances opened directly onto the general waiting room. Following principles taught at the École, the separation of pedestrian and automobile access rationally allowed for easy access and avoided conflict between the two modes. Functional separation was also employed at the LIRR concourse near the corner of 7th Ave and W. 33rd St. where commuter passengers were able to enter and exit the station without passing through the general waiting room.
Walking through the 7th Ave. portico, travelers entered a vestibule and then came upon an arcade lined with shop fronts. Modeled after those found in Italian cities such as Milan and Naples, the arcade was brightened by sunlight that streamed through the thermal or “Diocletian” windows. Continuing down the passageway, travelers entered the loggia, which acted as a transition space to the waiting room, reached by a grand staircase. Before descending to the waiting room, passengers had the option of passing to the left or the right through the loggia to enter the dining facilities, which included a lunchroom and a more formal restaurant. A niche in the wall of the loggia held a statue of Cassatt, station plans at his side; he died four years before his railroad triumphantly entered New York City.
Moving down the staircase, travelers reached the floor of the waiting room, which was below street level and stretched almost the entire two block width of the building. Above, the plaster ceiling soared to 150 feet, or about 15 stories, and was coffered in a bold octagonal pattern. Barrel vaults running the length and width of the waiting room were visually supported by eight 60-foot tall, seven-foot diameter fluted columns with ornate Corinthian capitals. Their pedestals dwarfed passengers, quickly giving a sense of scale and proportion. Natural light again entered through eight thermal windows, 33 feet high at their midpoints, located just below the roofline. Over the years, countless photographers, both amateur and professional, waited patiently for the perfect moment to permanently capture shafts of light as they penetrated the windows and warmed the passengers below.
Six large panels below the windows were filled with murals depicting maps of the PRR system by painter Jules Guerin, known for luminous illustrations and dramatic perspectives. His soft tones well matched the mellowness of the travertine that covered most of the walls. A favorite building material of the ancient Romans, the stone was a soft yellow-beige color, and gave warmth to large expanses that in darker color tones might seem impersonal and cold. It also had the added benefit of gaining a glowing sheen when touched and rubbed, as was sure to happen with thousands of daily passengers passing through the building. Passenger services such as ticketing and the baggage check were arranged around the perimeter of the waiting room in a sequential fashion so that one could efficiently move from one area to the next without needlessly crisscrossing the vast room.
The destination in one’s westward movement through the station was the concourse, in which the architects made every effort to allow natural light into the space. While the rest of the station emphasized classical grandeur, the 10-story concourse relied on the awe-inspiring power of modern industrial technology. A forest of steel columns supported an extensive system of vaults covered almost entirely in glass. Coupled with glass block embedded into the floor of the passenger galleries surrounding the platforms, light reached all the way down to the tracks, located 36 feet below street level.
Rather than enter the city through a dark and smoky train shed, Pennsylvania Station welcomed travelers with glorious light and soaring spaces unlike those found anywhere else in the nation. The arrival and departure concourses were separated, allowing for the efficient movement of people, and early commentators marveled at the new technology of escalators.
Considered a “monumental act of vandalism,” the destruction of Pennsylvania Station after only a half-century of service came as a shock to most New Yorkers. Legally, nothing could be done to stop the demolition, and popular outrage over the loss of the grand station prompted the city to institute a historic preservation ordinance and establish the Landmarks Preservation Commission. It also galvanized preservation groups across the country in an era in which federally-sponsored urban renewal efforts, although often well-intentioned, were shattering urban neighborhoods.
Careful, observant explorers can still find remnants of the original Pennsylvania Station, but most of the stone and sculptures were carted off to the New Jersey Meadowlands and dumped into a landfill. Thankfully, some elements were quietly salvaged and later donated to museums. Many of Weinman’s eagles found new perches in cities such as Philadelphia, West Point, N.Y., and Washington, D.C.
The first recorded European explorer to set sights on the island of Manhattan was Giovanni da Verrazano in 1524, but he did not disembark to investigate. In the next century, Henry Hudson arrived in September 1609 on behalf of the Dutch East India Company. He sailed up the river that now bears his name in search of a Northwest Passage to India but failed in his quest and instead described the potential usefulness of the natural harbor. At the time, Manhattan was home to bands of Lenape American Indians belonging to the Algonquian language family. The island held woodlands dominated by oak, maple and chestnuts while the shoreline, especially on the southern end, consisted of marshlands supporting diverse wildlife.
Trade in furs, particularly beaver, was soon established between Dutch merchants and the Lenapes. In 1623, the first permanent Dutch settlement was made on Governors Island, and once a more substantial colonial population had developed, the village was moved to the southern tip of Manhattan. In 1626, the colonists purchased Manhattan from the Lenape, and over the next few decades, Dutch settlements were made in all the boroughs now composing New York City.
By the early 1650s, the Dutch settlement on Manhattan, called New Amsterdam, had more than 1,000 residents. Many remained involved in the fur trade while others nurtured agriculture fields outside of the village confines. Under the leadership of Peter Stuyvesant, a fortified wall was erected on the northern edge of the town between the Hudson and East Rivers to guard against attack by English forces that had settled further to the east. The current Wall Street, a roadway that has become the symbolic heart of the American financial system, takes its name from Stuyvesant’s fortification.
In 1664, the English seized the city and renamed it New York in honor of the Duke of York, brother of King Charles II. A decade later, the city would briefly fall into Dutch hands once again until the English finally quashed Dutch ambitions in the region. The Dutch influence on the area remains particularly strong in the use of place names such as Flushing, Harlem and Brooklyn, all based on the names of Dutch towns that were corrupted when transliterated into English. Trade flourished under the English, and New York became a center for fishing and shipbuilding. The importance of the town was made known in 1754 when King’s College (later Columbia University) was founded as the sixth institution of higher learning in the 13 British colonies.
Although the Revolutionary War started in 1775 in the Boston area, the first major battles following Lexington and Concord took place in Brooklyn in August 1776. Only a month prior, the colonies had banded together to officially declare independence, and hence the Battle of Brooklyn is considered the first engagement to involve a truly “American” army composed of soldiers from various colonies. Surrounded by British troops, General George Washington evacuated his forces to Manhattan by the cover of night, surprising the enemy. The Continental Army was eventually chased up Manhattan, losing New York to the British for the duration of the war. In 1783, with the fighting over and a treaty signed between Great Britain and the United States of America, Washington returned to New York where he held a farewell dinner with his officers at Fraunces’ Tavern. The building, reconstructed numerous times, still stands in lower Manhattan.
From 1789 to 1790, New York served as the first seat of the nation’s government, and President Washington’s inauguration was held at Federal Hall on Wall Street. In 1790, the government was transferred to Philadelphia, which New York quickly surpassed as the country’s largest city. Anticipating future growth, the orderly street grid that now straddles most of Manhattan was adopted in 1811, marking a break with the organic layout of the early city and facilitating real estate development. New York City’s importance as an international port intensified with the opening of the Erie Canal in 1825. The manmade watercourse allowed grain and other agricultural products to move from the newly settled Great Lakes region to the Hudson River and ultimately to New York City for further distribution.
By mid-century, immigrants from Europe began to move through the city’s port in larger numbers, with a significant Irish population arriving in the late 1840s as Ireland suffered through the Great Famine. As the city expanded and grew in wealth, citizens advocated for beautification projects, one of which became known as Central Park, a manmade pastoral landscape in the center of the island. Designed by Englishman Calvert Vaux and the yet unknown Frederick Law Olmsted, the large rectangular park in Manhattan would go on to influence urban parks around the world and establish Olmsted as the father of American landscape architecture. They would repeat their success in Prospect Park, located in the city of Brooklyn across the East River from Manhattan. In 1898, Brooklyn, an independent municipality with an active port and industrial concerns, joined Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens and Staten Island in forming a unified municipal government.
The city’s population expanded greatly due to immigration, particularly from Eastern Europe and Italy. Between 1892 and 1954, more than 12 million immigrants entered the United States via Ellis Island in New York Harbor, in sight of the Statue of Liberty. Many poorer arrivals settled in the city’s tenements while attempting to start a new life. The Tenement Museum on Manhattan’s Lower East Side is housed in an apartment building that sheltered more than 7,000 immigrants after its completion in 1863. Today, its rooms are used to tell the stories of some of the diverse individuals and families who called the building “home.”
Immigrants, both skilled and unskilled, helped build the city’s modern infrastructure, including the PRR project to enter Manhattan. In the early 20th century, the city undertook an ambitious building program that included numerous bridges, tunnels, highways, subway lines, port facilities, and public works such as sewers, parks and recreational centers.
Internal migration from within the United States to New York City also occurred. The Great Migration of African Americans from the South to northern cities in the 1920s and 1930s greatly influenced the African-American community in Harlem. The “Harlem Renaissance” of that period saw a great gathering of intellectuals and creative individuals who indelibly changed Americans’ perceptions of African-American culture and life through works of literature, sociology, painting, sculpture, drama, poetry and other art forms.
Following World War II, New York became an international city with major influence over world art markets and media resources such as television and radio. It grew in stature as a center for finance, insurance and banking. In the 1980s, this reputation was explored in popular culture through films and books that depicted a fast-paced business world and its larger than life personalities.
As New York City’s economic base transitioned from industry to services, the form of the city also changed. The shipping industry restructured due to containerization and mechanization that made older piers obsolete. Port facilities were relocated to the edges of the metropolis, and former industrial areas along the waterfront were replaced with parkland and mixed use development, a process that continues into the 21st century. In a repeat of history, since the 1990s, new waves of immigrants from Latin America and Asia have reinforced New York’s image as an international city, one that allows reinvention and new beginnings.
Empire Service trains are supported by funds made available by the New York State Department of Transportation (NYSDOT). The Ethan Allen Express is financed primarily through funds made available by the Vermont Agency of Transportation and NYSDOT. The seasonal Berkshire Flyer (July-September) is supported by funds made available by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation and NYSDOT.
Station Building (with waiting room)
- ATM available
- Metropolitan Lounge
- Quik-Trak kiosks
- Ticket sales office
- Unaccompanied child travel allowed
- Vending machines
- Amtrak WiFi available
- Arrive at least 45 minutes prior to departure if you're checking baggage or need ticketing/passenger assistance
- Arrive at least 30 minutes prior to departure if you're not checking baggage or don't need assistance
- Amtrak Express shipping not available
- Checked baggage service available
- Checked baggage storage available
- Bike boxes for sale
- No baggage carts
- Ski bags not available
- Bag storage
- Shipping Boxes for sale
- Baggage assistance provided by 212-630-7914/212-630-6221 (24/7 at Penn. 5a-11p at Moynihan)
- Same-day parking is available for a fee
- Overnight parking is available for a fee
- Accessible platform
- Accessible restrooms
- Accessible ticket office
- Accessible waiting room
- Accessible water fountain
- Same-day, accessible parking is available for a fee
- Overnight, accessible parking is available for a fee
- High platform
- Wheelchair available
- No wheelchair lift
Station Waiting Room Hours
|Mon||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Tue||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Wed||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Thu||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Fri||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Sat||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
|Sun||05:00 am - 11:59 pm|
Ticket Office Hours
|Mon||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Tue||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Wed||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Thu||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Fri||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Sat||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Sun||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
Passenger Assistance Hours
Checked Baggage Service
|Mon||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Tue||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Wed||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Thu||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Fri||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Sat||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Sun||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
Quik-Track Kiosk Hours
|Mon||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Tue||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Wed||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Thu||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Fri||05:00 am - 10:00 pm|
|Sat||07:00 am - 09:00 pm|
|Sun||07:00 am - 09:00 pm|
Amtrak Express Hours